An Exclusive Interview with Shahnaz Parvin

In this “Exclusive Interview” section, we had the opportunity to talk with Shahnaz Parvin, as her photograph was the winner of Photo of the Month – 23rd Month, 3rd Place. Let’s discover more about Shahnaz, and her forays into photography in the following interview with her.

Shahnaz Parvin was an Award-Winning Photo Journalist. She was a passionate Bangalee, and used to reside in Bangladesh, until she passed away at the age of 32 on August 14, 2016. She was one of the best photographers of her time, who has been within top 10 of world’s top 100 photographers for last few years. Her real passion was in photography and learning it. Shahnaz mostly loved documentary photography, and loved to represent her country Bangladesh through her lens. With the highest number of Photo of the Month and Photo of the Day Awards, Shahnaz joined Light and Composition as Contributing Photographer from March 2013. Covering upheaval, conflict, places, people, and culture, she was one of the top most contributors from South Asia until 2015.

An Exclusive Interview with Shahnaz Parvin

An Exclusive Interview with Shahnaz Parvin

Light & Composition: Hello Shahnaz. How does it feel selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 3rd Place, April 2012?

Shahnaz Parvin: It feels great! I am honored.

L&C: The photograph, “The Paperboy”, which was selected as Photo of the Month, 3rd place is a beautiful documentary photograph with an artistic perspective, correct lighting, with a heart-touching story. Overall, this is a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.

Shahnaz: I had a very busy day at office and was in need of some inspirations. I went to the Kamalapur Railway Station, the central railway station in Dhaka, where I was attracted to this poor boy selling newspapers. The moment I saw him, I wanted to tell his story, waited for the right moment and clicked.

The Paperboy, by Shahnaz Parvin

The Paperboy, by Shahnaz Parvin

L&C: Besides this winning photograph, many people liked and voted for other photographs of yours in the Photo of the Month contest. You must be proud. How do you see your journey to the world of photography so far?

Shahnaz: It has been my dream to share the rural life of my people, and through photography I can share this, not only to my country but also to the rest of the world.

L&C: As we know, you are originally from Bangladesh, which has its own rich cultural and artistic heritage. Do you think depicting life in Bangladesh portrays a different essence? How much does that influence your work?

Shahnaz: I think every culture has its own style and artistic heritage. For portraying the beautiful Bangladesh, I believe there is nothing better than its people, and the life they lead. We are a poor country, over populated; and have so many problems in every sector, regardless of all these; her people live a simple life. And through my photography, as a viewer of every moment, I felt it is the best story to capture and to show rest of world what we are, what we can do with our limited power.

L&C: We see so many documentary photographs in your portfolio. Why do you like this particular genre of photography?

Shahnaz: I believe Documentary segment of photography is the best way to tell the story. I tried to capture the moment, the joy, the sorrow and the struggle my people going through.

L&C: One of the keys to any style of photography is visualization. Please tell us how you started this process and what you did afterwards.

Shahnaz: To me the most important part of photography is getting involved with its subject, talking with them, staying few more minutes, or half an hour, making them opened up. You can say, I am a photographer of the very moment, so my visualization is just before the moment I click, especially when the subject accepts my present and started to talk with me, and in between I get their day to day life as natural as they are.

L&C: Shahnaz, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.

Shahnaz: Some of my photographs were exhibited in Bangladeshi groups and some in online, but they are not worth to mention in international level.

L&C: Are you involved with any photography organizations? How does this help you in your photography?

Shahnaz: As a freelance photo journalist, I joined an agency here, named Banglar chockh. It helped me to know what type of photography can cover as news.

L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with Photo of the Day?

Shahnaz: My advice is, take a deep breath and sent your best works to Photo of the Day. It is one the best photography awards in the world, you should participate, and there is nothing to lose.

L&C: Thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences with us Shahnaz.

Shahnaz: You are most welcome. Thank you for the interview and thanks to everyone for reading it.

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Roddy MacInnes
Roddy MacInnes
9 years ago

Congratulations Shahnaz. You deserve this prize. I look forward to seeing more. Keep up the great work. Thanks, Roddy

shahab haider
shahab haider
9 years ago

^_^ one day you’ll got 1st price (InshAllah)